Ducks Drop Five-Set Heartbreaker
TEMPE, Ariz. – No. 16 Oregon dropped a heartbreaker in a five-set battle with Arizona State on the road Thursday, falling 15-25, 25-21, 21-25, 26-24, 15-10.
How It Happened: The Ducks (13-4) had match point, up 24-22 in set four but Arizona State came storming back with four straight points to take the set and force a fifth. The two teams traded points at the start of the deciding set, but the Sun Devils scored three straight to make it 8-5. Oregon cut it to 8-7 after a timeout, but ASU again opened up a lead and traded sideouts with the Ducks the rest of the way to win.
Oregon got off to a dominant start, rolling to a 25-15 win in set one. It was 4-4 early on before the Ducks scored seven of the next eight points, fueled by a couple of blocks and Taylor Borup's 5-0 serving run. Brooke Nuneviller delivered an ace to make it 18-7 later in the set, and the Ducks would cruise from there to go up 1-0 behind a .409 first-set hitting percentage.
The Ducks kept it going to start set two, holding a 12-5 lead before ASU started chipping away. The Sun Devils (6-13) cut it to 13-10, then went on a 5-1 run out of a timeout later in the set to make it a one-point game at 17-16. The Ducks led 20-19 after a Nuneviller kill, but the Sun Devils scored six of the last seven points to win 25-21 and tie the match.
Oregon trailed early on in set three, taking a timeout down 14-11. From there, the Ducks went on a 5-1 run led by Gloria Mutiri, who recorded three kills in that stretch to make it 17-16, Oregon. The teams traded sideouts until the Ducks scored five of the last six to win 25-21 and go up 2-1 in the match. Mutiri finished the set with seven kills while the Ducks hit .472 in the frame.
Notable: The Ducks lost a five-set match for the first time this season … It's also the first time this year Oregon has lost a match when tying or leading its opponent in blocks … Borup recorded a career-high 19 digs while posting her third double-double of the season, adding 11 kills … Mutiri led the team with 12 kills to go along with six blocks … Nuneviller posted her 14th double-double in 17 matches this year, finishing with 10 kills and 16 digs … Karson Bacon recorded seven blocks for the third straight match.
Up Next: Oregon takes on Arizona State on Saturday at 12 p.m. to wrap-up the regular season.